Clueless with Claire

I keep nudging Gary in bed and telling him that secretly I think I have green fingers. He smiles at me condescendingly lovingly, as if to say, ‘bless her poor deluded heart…green fingers? Claire? Must be the best kept secret…ever!’.

I am fearless!

I guess fearless doesn’t necessarily mean good. But I think I have the potential to be an excellent gardener. One day. In the very near future. I will astound the masses (Gary et al) and produce the most beautiful garden.

Bless his heart though. Gary is nothing if not indulgent, allowing me to buy all manner of plants and forgetting to buy food, he drives me up to our friends’ house, after a long day at work, to pick up many, many lovely plants (and offers to plant them out for me – I say no. On account of the green fingers), and he took me to the compost/fire place at his work to allow me to dig up a few weeds wild flowers to plant in my our garden:

Oh. My. Goodness.

I love wild flowers! They are so unrestrained and natural looking. I am definitely going to be visiting the wild more often. I particularly like the Lady’s Slipper (the yellow flower in the above collage).

Gary also bought me some Dahlias and a Buddleia. I didn’t know I loved Dahlias until I owned one and now I think they might very well be one of my favourite flowers. And, I never forget their name!

I have a new favourite tool. Well, actually, every single tool is my favourite. But there is something particularly appealing the more damage a tool has the potential to do. Especially in the wrong hands.

I am enthusiastic gardener. I am not, however, a terribly sensible one who has forethought regarding the consequences of any of my actions.

Take the plum tree. It died. Not due to me. I think it died of old age. It is older than me, and my children tell me that is ancient. So the tree must be ancienter. Anyway, it died. Gary was going to use his big manly noisy chain saw to cut it down. Being of an impatient disposition (not generally in life, but definitely in the garden!) I decided that if I want a job done, to do it myself. So, last week I began the rather fun job of sawing down the tree. I don’t have a clue how to use a chain saw, and as Gary won’t even allow me to use his drill (on account of the gleeful damage I might do), I assumed he wouldn’t let me within a ten mile radius of said chain saw.

So I found me this curvy, very sharp hand saw. I took to using this like a duck to water. I mean what’s not to like? It’s tool like and sharp. Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than this!

I will admit to not thinking the whole ‘saw through a large branch’ thing as thoroughly as I perhaps should have. For example, once I had sawn through the quite substantial branch, I probably should have had the forethought to realise that once unattached from the tree, it would fall. On me. So having majestically (seriously, it is the only word to describe my sawing ability) sawn the branch off, I am thinking shouting ‘timber!’ and then running away from the tree with a very sharp, but definitely new favourite tool, in my hand, was perhaps not the safest of options…

I did, by some miracle, manage to stay alive and, in an extremely organised fashion, I sawed the branch into logs using my very sharp and dangerous (but definitely new favourite) tool. I then clipped the smaller branches into sticks and twigs for fire lighters using my big snippy tool and my small snippy tool. I believe I am highly talented. Possibly even a Proverbs 31 woman for the first time in my life. After all, she does not worry about the winter to come. And neither will I, not with all the wood I have chopped, sawn and snipped.

Gary was off on Monday, so the whole family spent the day in the garden. The teens did a whole lot of nothing much. But they are teens and just existing is hard enough work! 🤣

My younger girls were very excited to help out, and proved themselves to be very useful. They dug, planted, weeded and chatted. A lot. Between them and Gary, they planted out a whole vegetable garden. I’m not very very confident about its chance of success, an account of the slimy things that shall not be mentioned.

I am loving my new app. Joanne (hi Joanne 👋🏻) asked me what the app was – It’s called PictureThis and it came as a free app (although I think you can upgrade it by paying a subscription). I use the app extensively, as I’m sure you can all imagine, given that I could write all I know about plants on the back of a postage stamp!

I love using my new mini black board plant labels. I photograph the plant, the phone tells me what it is and I write a label and stick it next to the plant. I am hoping that I will begin to learn their names so that I can sound more plant literate than I currently do.

Gary is fully supporting me in my gardening endeavours. At the weekend he gifted me with some handy dandy string. In a pot! So cool. I just have to pull and cut. I have been finding things to tie up left, right and centre – whether they need tying up or not 🤫

The creatures who shall not be mentioned need to be mentioned here. I guess God must have known what He was doing when he created the slimy mischief makers, but I sure don’t understand His thinking. The foil does not work. The rosemary did not work. I am trialling coffee grains. It would be cool if they did work given how much coffee Thomas and I get through in a day. Anyway, it’s last chance saloon for the hyssop and rose plants. I decided to simply plant them out away from pots. Slimy creatures like pots it seems because not only do they have a ready made roof top restaurant, but also a home to call their own during the day in the basement of the pot. What do they think this is, a holiday park for slugs?!

I made some banana skin fertiliser last week which I will be using next week. I love this no waste attitude. Buy bananas, eat bananas, keep skins, soak in water to make banana tea to feed the garden and then place half rotten banana skins straight into the earth to further fertilise it. I love it! I am going to figure out how to do that with everything I throw away – Am thinking of becoming eco warrior!

Becca has really been enjoying working alongside me in the garden. She dug a huge hole, fertilised in with bone meal, dug out a huge plant and replanted it before cutting it right back. She did a great job (note the blue butterfly she spotted mid dig):

My transplants are hanging on by a thread. The whole banana that the rose cutting is stuck in really makes a difference because Becca did one without the banana and hers died within a couple of days. My cutting is now three weeks old. It doesn’t look healthy but it is alive:

On Thursday my lovely friend, Anna, offered me lots of lovely plants which she had grown and/or her husband could dig out of the ground. I will show you all next week what I chose (this post is already too long) but suffice it to say that Anna has completely inspired me. Her huge garden is filled with every plant under the sun and it is all that sort of wild but organised cottage garden look which I desire for my own medium sized garden. I can see me picking her brains in the years to come! Thank you again, Anna. I loved every single plant you gifted us ❤️

Right. Must go. The garden is not going to garden itself! Much love everyone. Have a great weekend!


  1. Oh, I thought you were going to say you put a hole in Gary’s patio cover! Lol!! Great job, Claire. Your garden is looking so good. It will be fun to see all the growth by the end of summer. Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

  2. And I thought you having a drill was dangerous. I going to change the lock to my shed. I have to say though I am very impressed with your commitment to this even in the pouring rain. I know of gardeners who are like sugar cubes……they disappear in the rain. 😂😂 I enjoy spending time out there with you.

  3. Thank you!! LOL. I am downloading that app right now. Sounds like a wonderful week in the garden.. I am often impatient and take on bigger jobs than I may be qualified for too but I figure as long as I only get minor injuries now and then at least I’m learning new skills.

  4. We use beer in shallow plates to be rid of said slugs. You gave me a giggle this morning. I love how your garden is growing and the joy it is bringing you. Do be careful with your new favorite sharp tool.
    Blessings, Dawn

  5. You are very welcome to come and wield your tools in my garden next! I even have some noisy ones that have motors in them. Your plant knowledge has definitely surpassed mine now, so I would give you the title of Chief Gardening Consultant. Maybe a fancy hat and a name badge? I also love PictureThis, and another app I use is SmartPlant. It tells me what to do each month to the plants I’ve identified using PictureThis. (Unfortunately it turns out that you have to DO the things for it to be effective, not just know about them.)

  6. Yaaaayyy Claire, go you!!! Loving this! Now I can also have you as a fellow gardening buddy!! Well done, garden is looking sooo lovely! I expect a cuppa and a tour soon!😉😁xxx

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